Wire Jewelry Tip: How do you use a Draw Plate?

By on August 14, 2015
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by Judy Ellis, Wirejewelry.com

Wire Jewelry Tip August 14th, 2015

What is the purpose of a Draw Plate?

I like to re-visit old posts because I think there are always great ideas and new things to learn.

This post comes to us from a few years ago…


Could you please explain what the purpose of a draw plate is?


A ‘draw plate’ is a type of die that is used to either reshape or re-size wire. Dead soft wire is the preferred temper used to ‘draw’, and as the wire will work harden and become brittle during the process, the recommended number of times a wire is drawn is three. Drawing wire will reduce its thickness when reshaping, while also increasing its length.

To draw wire through the draw plate, one end of the wire must first be filed smaller, so it will fit though the chosen hole. While holding this end with good gripping pliers, small gauge wire can be pulled slowly and steadily through by hand, while larger gauged wire can be attached to a crank. Before drawing any wire through a draw plate, the wire needs to be lubricated with a substance such as beeswax or multi-purpose machine oil.

A draw plate also needs to be locked into a vise to be used, and if one is drawing wire through it, one made of metal is the obvious choice. Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

I think this is a great answer to very simple question – Here are a few Draw Plates and some companion tools that you might find helpful when using a Draw Plate.

Rosewood Draw Plate for Vise:

Rosewood Draw Plate for Vise

Rosewood Draw Plate for Vise

This handy drawplate is designed for reducing soft chain or woven chain like Viking Knit Chain. Made of hard boxwood with 12 smooth holes from 1.2mm to 6.5mm. Simply pull your chain through consecutively smaller holes in the draw plate, reducing the size of the chain. Note that on one side of the block, the holes are slightly chamfered, or beveled, to facilitate pulling the wire through. User may put the “tang” of the block into a vise, or hold it by hand. Measures 3 1/2 x 2/ 1/2 x 3/4 inches.

Rosewood Handheld Draw Plate:

Rosewood Handheld Draw Plate

Rosewood Handheld Draw Plate

This handy tool is designed for reducing soft chain or woven chain. A larger 12-hole drawplate with an easy-to-use handle. Holes range in size from 3mm to 14mm in diameter, increasing in 1mm increments. Beveled, or chamfered, holes make this great for Viking Knit Chain and other large chain. Measures 8 1/2 x 2 3/8 x 3/8 inches.


Wire Lubricant:

Would you like to learn how to Wire Weave? Take a look at his amazing Coiling and Weaving DVD Series by Albina Manning – that we have available!

Look at the beautiful projects you will learn in each video…

Happy Wrapping!

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